If I understand Jan Heine's posting earlier today, he said he had gathered from his reading that Hetchins did not subcontract their work. As a point of information only, and not entering into the broader discussion, I quote from the Bob Jackson website: "...by the early eighties, more of the traditional framebuilders and painters were turning to JRJ Cycles for their production needs...The owners of the "Hetchins" brand had used JRJ Cycles exclusively to build their curly stayed frames from the late 70s..."
When I read this not long ago, and without pretending to be any kind of an expert on these matters, I found it somewhat startling that Hetchins would have another firm building their frames "way back then". Furthermore, as indicated on the website, Hetchins was not the only firm subcontracting to JRJ. I would think of this as a credit to JRJ rather than a discredit to Hetchins or whoever else was subcontracting, assuming of course that the quality of the product was maintained.
Austin, Texas, USA